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Mouallem wants a list of the "terrorist organizations" and one of the opposition groups that will join Geneva talks

BEIRUT | - January 10, 2016, 08h59
picture credit: Sana news agency.

UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, left Beirut Saturday heading to Qatar.

De Mistura is currently leading regional consultations ahead of United Nations-facilitated talks on resolving the crisis in Syria.

The talks are to be held in Geneva starting 25 January, per the statements adopted in Vienna by the International Syria Support Group and UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).

That resolution, the Council's first measure to focus on the politics of ending Syria's five-year-long war, gave the United Nations an enhanced role in shepherding the opposing sides to talks for a political transition, and endorsed a timetable for a ceasefire, a new constitution and elections, all under UN auspices.

In this context, de Mistura met yesterday in Damascus with the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Walid Mouallem.

The state-run Syrian news agency SANA stated that Mouallem affirmed on Saturday the importance of respecting UN Security Council’s resolutions, particularly those related to combating terrorism.

During his meeting with De Mistura, he said that efforts of the political solution and the Council’s latest, relevant resolutions are linked to the credibility of the efforts of fighting terrorism which require forcing the countries which support terrorism to stop backing it.

Mouallem reiterated the Syrian stance of “continuing cooperation with De Mistura to combat terrorism and push dialogue among the Syrians forwards”, adding “Syria is ready to take part in Geneva meetings at the appointed time.”

The Minister stressed the necessity of having a list on the terrorist organizations and another one about the names of the Syrian opposition sides that will join Geneva talks.

This should be complicated, since the Syrian regime has been considering any opponent as a terrorist.

According to a note issued by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in the meeting, Mr. de Mistura outlined preparations currently underway for the intra-Syrian talks.

The Special Envoy is looking forward to the active participation of relevant parties in the Geneva talks. He will be continuing his consultations in the region, the note concluded.

While de Mistura and Mouallem were talking, NGOs were struggling to bring food to the city of Madaya. The 42 000 residents of this city are currently starving to death due to a 7-month siege conducted by the Syrian regime and its allies. Three days ago, the Syrian authorities agreed  to let the humanitarian aid enter the city.

#DeMistura, #Syria
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